The Olive Oil Market in Germany

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German consumers are demanding more information on the qualities, origin and pricing of olive oils, which is in turn improving transparency in the country’s olive oil market, according to Spain’s Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX).

Above all, Germans still love butter and margarine, but when it comes to edible oils, the top three in terms of amount consumed are canola, sunflower and then olive oil, with respective market shares of about 37, 31 and 18 percent, the recent ICEX report, “The Olive Oil Market in Germany” says.

However, among organic oils, olive oil is the leader, with the highest sales in terms of volume per household. ICEX says the growing demand for organic produce is one of most striking tendencies in the German food market.

Nevertheless, overall olive oil imports by Germany slipped slightly last year in both volume and value. Compared to 2011, the volume imported – 67,432 tons – was down 0.51 percent, but since 2007 there’s been average annual growth of 1.65 percent

Among other aspects of the German olive oil market highlighted by ICEX are that:

– store brands (particularly those of discount chains Aldi and Lidl) account for nearly half of all olive oil sold and, in terms of volume, two thirds of olive oil sales are in discount stores

– while half of all retail turnover in 2012 derived from products in the €3-3.49/L price segment, more than a fifth was from products in the €5-6/L range, and a new price segment of above €7/L, which a few years ago was almost non-existent, now accounts for 15 percent

– the vast majority of olive oil imported is virgin grade (82.57 percent in volume) but imports in this category fell slightly in both volume and value in 2012 compared to 2011

– Italy provides the vast majority of Germany’s olive oil – nearly 72 percent of imports – and Spain ranks next with just over 14 percent, then Greece with almost nine percent

– in 2012, Greece overtook Spain in terms of the value of its virgin olive oil imports into Germany, but Spain remained ahead in volume

– Germans consumed an average of 0.91L each of canola oil last year and spent €1.79 ($2.43) on it, compared to 0.42L and €2.10 ($2.85) for of olive oil

– they prefer to buy their olive oil in glass rather than plastic bottles and in volumes of 500-750 ml

– oil and fat consumption is declining in Germany – the per capita consumption of 20kg in 2011 was down nearly a quarter on that of six years earlier.

ICEX report “The Olive Oil Market in Germany” (in Spanish), olive oil times

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